Sunday, March 26, 2023

A Long Walk in Paris


On one of my trips to Paris, I took a long walk across town enjoying the sights along the way.  After visiting the gorgeous St. Chapelle church, I walked past the Palais De Justice.

 I crossed one of the many beautiful bridges in Paris while admiring those gorgeous buildings in the background.  I bet the apartments in those buildings are very expensive.

I walked past the Louvre Museum.  I didn't go in this time.  That's a museum that requires a whole day to itself.  

I crossed the busy Place De La Concorde.

I took a short rest in the gardens next the the Champs-Elysees and spent a few minutes watching a few magpies hopping around in the grass.

After my long stroll in the heart of Paris, I made my way back toward my hotel as I watched the sidewalk cafes fill with people.  There is always something see while walking in Paris.

Sunday, March 19, 2023

A Visit From My Parents


When I had that two year job assignment in Chicago, my parents came to visit me one weekend.  They enjoyed getting a taste of life in a high-rise building with views over the city and Lake Michigan.  

When my mother was a young girl, she spent some time visiting family living in Chicago and later, she and my dad got married at a church in Chicago.  Mom wanted to see if some of the places she remembered were still around.

The first place we found was the church where they were married. Sadly, it was boarded up and looking pretty bad.  However, they still recognized it and they posed for this photo in front of the church just like they had posed on their wedding day.

The other place my mother wanted to see was Maxwell Street.  When she was a kid and stayed with her aunt and uncle, her uncle would take her with him to shop on Maxwell Street.  She described it as crazy busy with every merchant along the street selling things in front of their stores.  I found these images by searching Google.  However, when we visited Maxwell Street it was looking very shabby.  In fact, it was a pretty rough neighborhood.  I understand that is has been greatly improved since we were there in 1999.

This last photo is of my mom enjoying the view from the top of the Hancock Building.  The view was of a much bigger and much more modern city than she remembered as a child.

I really enjoyed showing my mom and dad around the city I had grown to love while I was there.  I also enjoyed looking at these old photos and remembering the occasion.  

Sunday, March 12, 2023

Antarctic Inhabitants


The sole inhabitants of the Antarctic are the thousands of penguins who have made the land masses and the ice their home.

My good friends Julie and Dave took lots of photos of all the different species of penguins they encountered.  

I think the "chinstrap" penguins were my favorite but they are all so interesting to watch.  They have to be one of the cutest creatures on earth.

They are amazing little birds who seem to thrive in one of the coldest spots on earth.

This photo is of Julie at the Penguin Post Office mailing post cards back home.  In fact, the one she is showing looks like the one she sent me.

It took a whopping 9 weeks to arrive at my home.  It takes a very long time to get mail from the bottom of the earth!

Sunday, March 5, 2023

My Friends Went to Antarctica


My good friends Julie and Dave went to Antarctica in January and since I won't be going there, I asked if I could share some of the iPhone photos they sent to me.  I got the above photo the day they left Argentina on the Antarctic Airways jet. The rest of the photos here I got after their two weeks on the boat.  There was no internet or cell phone service available while they were exploring that uninhabited and ice covered land mass.

All of these photos are iPhone photos and they show the stark beauty of this wilderness area.  Dave told me this one shows Julie way down there by the shore.  She looks very tiny down there as does the boat they traveled on out there in the water.

He also said that the sun didn't get much lower than this the entire time they were there.  

Here's a photo of Julie all bundled up and enjoying one of the excursions.

 Likewise, here's Dave all bundled up against freezing temperatures and the wind.  

All that ice creates beautiful sculptures all around.

The photos I love the most are the ones with penguins in them.  They are such adorable and unusual creatures.  They got to meet several different kinds of penguins on this trip.  

Next week, I'll show you more of the penguin wildlife.  

Sunday, February 26, 2023

Palm Trees and Hiking Trails


On my many visits to the Wickenburg area, I have passed this spot just south of town where there are an abundance of palm trees.  It's an unusual site out in the desert.  So on one trip, I stopped to learn more about he place.

The property is called the Hassayampa River Preserve and it is owned by the Nature Conservancy and managed by Maricopa County.  

The building on the property has had many uses from a home to a winter retreat to a dude ranch.  When I was there, the inside was mostly empty but I loved this huge fireplace.  

I decided to hike the trail and found it to be shady and cool in spite of the desert heat.  

When I reached the river, I enjoyed watching the birds flying from tree to tree and singing loudly.  

I later learned that this place is somewhat of a bird sanctuary with many species found in among all that brush.

One thing I know for sure is that the area was full of hummingbirds.  I could hear their tiny chirps and when I returned to the building, I saw this feeder that was one of the busiest hummingbird feeders I've ever seen.  
I think I'll count this place as another hidden gem in the state of Arizona.  It certainly lives up to its reputation as an oasis in the desert.

Sunday, February 19, 2023

A Spanish Mission in Arizona


Many years before the chain of Spanish Missions were established in California, Father Kino was building missions in a part of Arizona still occupied by Spain.  The Mission San Jose Tumacacori was one of those missions.  Today it is a National Historic Park preserving the ruins of this once grand mission.  

The historic park is a great place to explore remains that date back to 1687.  The park is located 53 miles south of Tucson Arizona.

Even though the buildings on the site are in ruins, one can still get a sense of size and beauty of this mission.  

Graves of long gone residents can be found in an area of the grounds that is surrounded by ancient adobe walls.  

It is a peaceful place to explore and learn a little history from long before Arizona was part of the United States.  The park is much quieter than most National Parks.  Visiting here is relaxing as well as educational.  

If you would like to see more photos from this beautiful mission, click here.

Sunday, February 12, 2023

The Beauty of Colorado


Some photos from the long ago archives.  These were taken many years ago on a road trip to Colorado.  We were in search of Telluride but we found lots to admire in the scenery before we got there. 

It seemed like every turn in the road brought more spectacular views.

We stopped to admire a perfect mountain lake.

After the lake we stopped for lovely mountain stream.

The mountains were putting on their best show when we took this road trip.  

Sunday, February 5, 2023

Southern Arizona Golf Resort


Let me just start this post by saying I don't play golf.  However, several years ago I took the opportunity to stay at the Tubac Golf Resort and Spa.  It was during the month of July which you might guess was not the normal golfing and tourist season for southern Arizona.  But the summer rates were good and I wanted a short vacation away.  Tubac is a small arts community about 50 miles south of Tucson Arizona.

The rooms are all hacienda style with private patios and sitting on the 500 acre site of the historic Otero Ranch.  

The Otero Ranch was established in 1789, long before Arizona was part of the United States.  

The beautifully landscaped grounds are full of reminders of ranching life dating back 200 years.

The rooms have a rustic, southwestern feel to them but they contain all the modern conveniences that make staying at a resort a relaxing event.

Those amenities include a fireplace and a seating area along with a huge bathroom complete with shower and spa tub.  

I enjoyed the patio very much.  I could sit there reading a book and sipping something refreshing and watch the occasional golf cart roll by.  The whole experience was outstanding.